Permission Marketing (PM) is a sales marketing approach that was popularized by Seth Godin, the former VP of Direct Marketing at Yahoo Inc. A good example of permission marketing is internet users who sign up in advance to receive information about certain services or products they are interested in learning more about. It is not only effective, but cost-efficient as well, in that the prospect is already identified and targeted by the business. In a world of information overload, pesky telemarketers, and email spam, the idea of “obtaining permission” is one of the more welcomed ideas in the digital marketing world.
What is Permission Marketing?
This sales approach involves marketers obtaining permission from prospective customers before sending them email marketing messages. It is one of the more effective forms of communication because consumers are in control of the messages they receive. In order to get the permission, a business would have to make promises and fulfill them once a connection has been established.
I like to think of PM as the dating scene.
You would not expect your date to earn your trust at the end of the first date. You probably would have to build on the trust and earn your reputation as the relationship evolves. That means making good on your promises and not spamming him/her with texts or messages that they may or may not like.
The key phrase in PM is ‘Pay Attention’. Permission marketers understand that when someone chooses to pay attention they are actually paying the marketer with something precious – time. And there’s no way you can get their attention back if they are dissuaded. Attention becomes an important asset, something to be valued, not wasted.
How Does Permission Marketing Work?
Permission Marketing will only work if it is done in steps and treated with care. A large number of consumers are uncomfortable giving permission to businesses because they overtly concerned with privacy issues, and they have every right to be hesitant. However, when they do give their consent, they expect to be served with trust and respect for their privacy.
Here is what you will need to do to start implementing PM.
Step 1: Get recipients to drop what they are doing
Obtaining initial contact permission from a prospect involves interrupting them through an email blast, banner ad, etc. This will require a propositional value (an incentive). Persuade them that whatever they are reading in the email or banner is more important that the task they are doing.
Step 2: Educate your potential customer gradually and in steps
After receiving permission from the prospect or customer, educate them about your products and services and how they can benefit from doing business with you.
Step 3: Reinforce the incentive
You can never say thank you enough times! This step is one that is crucial because you may be required to ask for permission again, with yet another propositional value (incentive).
Step 4: Increase the level of permission
To heighten the level of permission, the marketer provides more incentives to motivate the customer. The permission marketer then becomes someone who is trustworthy of business relations.
Step 5: Turn permissions into profits
The customer commits to the solution the marketer is offering. The sale is complete.
Why is Permission Marketing Important to Understand?
PM differs from other forms of marketing in that it is conducted at an individualized level and is built on a foundation of customers receiving promotional messages based on their interests and permission. Consumers are in control of the situation, making it clear to businesses that they will most likely read the message knowing that if they were no longer interested, they would unsubscribe from the recipient list.